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Until my son got addicted, drugs weren't part of my world. I hope they're never part of yours

4 10 0

I still remember the moment I discovered my son was a drug addict. I’d just returned home from an overseas trip. Here – the heroic son, a brilliant athlete, loved by all – here he was on the front steps of our house, sobbing uncontrollably.

He confessed there and then that he had been injecting heroin for some time. He was 21 years old.

I grabbed him by the collar and I said, “We’re going to beat this. We’re going to defeat it.” I guess that’s what I then set out trying to achieve – pretty typical of what people do.

Then of course I just got frustrated. I rang a drug information service. Whoever answered the phone told me that everybody was out to lunch. They said to go to the public library or get on the Internet to find out what to do.

Then I rang a few treatment services, because like most families, I thought, “Just get him into treatment. That’ll be the thing to do.” That was just overwhelming. Of course I know now why, but back then it just didn’t make any sense that nobody wanted to talk to me. Everybody said , “How old is he?” When I said, “21”, they said, “Can’t talk to you.” That made me really angry.

There was nothing. What do you do? What do you do? The only thing I knew was, because it was already starting to happen, that he would go into withdrawal. I didn’t know what that........

© The Guardian